Happy Update on Lucky Boy

Lucky Boy, 11 days post-rescue
Those of you who follow TBZ know that in July, a dramatic jaguar rescue took place in Punta Gorda, Belize, after the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) was alerted that a jaguar in captivity was in distress and appeared to be starving to death. You can read the initial news release, and see the frightening photo of Lucky Boy at the time of his rescue, HERE

As the TBZ Facebook page shared, "TBZ officials, working in concert with the Forest Department, successfully rescued the emaciated and sickly black jaguar from an abandoned resort southern Belize. Far too weak to withstand anaesthesia as a strategy to aid in his being transferred to the Zoo, a crate was constructed at TBZ, and taken to the jaguar's home the following day on July 19. Then, with much patience and some good beef liver, the thin and sickly cat was gently convinced to enter the crate. Once inside, the door was slowly lowered, and "Lucky Boy" (his new name) began the long journey to his new quarters. "Lucky Boy" quickly settled in and again was fed some nice beef liver and cooked eggs. It will take a bit of time to get "Lucky Boy" fit and beautiful, and we look forward to his being a proud on-site Belize Zoo black jaguar for all to admire!"

Sharon Matola recently sent this encouraging update on Lucky Boy:
Lucky Boy, our recently rescued black jaguar, has settled well in his new home off exhibit at The Belize Zoo. Always eager for his dinner, the guy is clueless about how happy he is making all of his zoo caretakers with such an enthusiastic appetite.  Not that we expected Lucky Boy to turn up his big nose at beef liver, but our consulting vet made a point in stating that some large cats are less-than-happy about eating the critical care canned feline food,  which was brought in special for our Lucky Boy.  Well, Lucky Boy simply loves the gooey mixture, and happily gives a jaguar “high five” whenever it comes his way.
And while his bones are still too prominently seen through his black fur, Lucky Boy has definitely put on some  much-needed healthy weight. The lesions on part of his sleek profile are fading, and his overall behavior and attitude shows us that he is a contented cat. We so look forward to sharing Lucky Boy with our zoo visitors. When will he be introduced to the zoo? More medical attention is on the horizon. Necessary and thorough examinations can only be done if Lucky Boy is completely anesthetized. And anesthetizing  any ill or weak animal is a risky and dangerous procedure. First, we will get him in very good shape, and then follow through with the much-needed and expected revealing examinations.
Lucky Boy’s healthy behavior is just as important as his physical profile.  Before he enters “Zoo Central”, he needs to be TBZ certified cool, calm and collected.  At one time, Lucky Boy lived with another jaguar.  He is very accustomed to cat-company. Lucky Boy’s gentle demeanor indicates, too,  that the boy’s former “Bosch” days were spent being well-cared for. Whatever went awry in his life, we are so very pleased that our zoo staff could work along with the Forest Department and provide a home for him. 
A gradual introduction to his upcoming enclosure mates, Springfield and CT, is a behavior-planned strategy. The zoo has rehabilitated and worked with over 15 jaguars. Every jaguar we have managed owns an individual personality. Introducing jaguars to one another deserves very careful attention. We intend to see that the introduction is done under the strictest of regimes, and due to our experience, all feel that the transfer and introduction process will go forward minus any difficulties. It will be some time before Lucky Boy resides within zoo grounds.  

Several fund raisers have raised needed funds to help in the rehabilitation and care of this beautiful endangered animal including a T-shirt campaign, Indiegogo campaign, and roadside barbecue at TBZ. Funds are still needed, and donations can be made at TBZ's web site, HERE

Lucky Boy becomes more beautiful and healthy with each day. Please help if you can make Lucky Boy's dreams come true!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We just recently visited this zoo and were amazed at how beautiful and healthy Lucky Boy looks.